‘A huge vote of confidence in the business’ says Isle of Man Meats Chairman
Isle of Man Meats has announced a major partnership with Tesco which will see locally produced meat on the shelves at the Douglas store from today [November 14].
A range of products will be available to consumers - including whole and half shoulders of Manx lamb, whole and half legs of Manx lamb, Manx beef roasting joints, and Manx beef carvery joints. Plans are already in progress to introduce more Isle of Man Meats products to the Tesco range in the future. To celebrate the launch a chef will be at the Douglas store today [November 14] from 1.30pm to 3.30pm to cook up delicious Manx lamb and beef for shoppers.
Isle of Man Meats Chairman Tim Baker MHK described the Tesco deal as a ‘huge vote of confidence in the business’ and a ‘game changer’ for Isle of Man Meats and the Island’s red meat producers. He added: “This is a very significant achievement for Isle of Man Meats and has been achieved after many months of hard work by our team to meet the high standards demanded by Tesco and their customers. As one of the biggest food retailers on the Island, the Tesco partnership is also a massive step forward for the Island’s farming community. It’s part of our strategy to create even more opportunities for customers here on the Island to buy our products from wherever they choose to shop, whether that’s at a supermarket, convenience store, or one of the many local butchers shops that are among our expanding network of valued retail partners. Tesco is a very important addition to that network and will help us to build a strong platform to promote the benefits of buying local produce. The endorsement of our products from such a major retail brand also strengthens Isle of Man Meats position as we seek growth in UK markets.”
Isle of Man Meats thanks DEFA for support provided as part of the Food Matters Strategy which has played an important role in securing the Tesco partnership. In the last 18 months Isle of Man Meats has invested in recruiting highly experienced and skilled staff, improved its technical capabilities, and achieved widely recognised industry accreditations. This investment is an essential element in its growth strategy, and played an important part in achieving the partnership with Tesco. Isle of Man Meats was recently given Grade A status following a rigorous, independent, annual audit by BRC Global Standards. Isle of Man Meats also has Red Tractor accreditation, is a UNESCO Biosphere Isle of Man Partner, and has won many Great Taste Awards in recent years (the UK food and drink sectors’ equivalent of the Oscars).
Chief Minister Howard Quayle MHK said: “The food retail industry on the Island is worth in excess of £160million per year, with supermarkets accounting for over 80% of this. A key aim of the Isle of Man Government’s Food Matters strategy is to enhance the market share through local partnerships between producers and retailers, growing the industry. This collaboration between the farming community, Isle of Man Meats and Tesco, a global retailer with a wide consumer reach, is a major achievement which builds our Island’s food security and sustainability. The public are increasingly looking to make ethical choices, for example local food with fewer food miles, a smaller carbon footprint and a longer shelf life. Being able to buy quality Manx produced meat from all the Island’s supermarkets, including Tesco, provides the public with more opportunities to support the local economy.”
Neil Connell, Tesco Douglas Store Manager, said: “We are delighted to be stocking Manx-reared products, and we are excited to be working closely with Isle of Man Meats for what we hope will be the start of a fulfilling partnership. This is an important affiliation for Tesco to support the local farming community. Isle of Man Meats has always championed the provenance, traceability, and sustainability of its products, and we’re delighted to support both Manx agriculture and Isle of Man Meats. We know that there is a demand for locally produced, high-quality meat - and more and more consumers are becoming aware of the fact that supporting local farmers is good for the local economy. We’re pleased to see Manx meat on our shelves, with joints available in the first instance. The timing couldn’t be better with Christmas around the corner.”
Tesco shoppers looking for Isle of Man Meats products will see ‘Make Sure It’s Manx’ signage and branding in the meat aisle. The campaign was inspired by a survey conducted by Isle of Man Meats in 2018 which showed that Manx consumers wanted to see clearer labelling of locally produced meat wherever it was on sale. As a result, the company launched the Make Sure It’s Manx campaign earlier this year with the aim to make it easier for consumers to identify genuine local produce.